Fannie Mae's loan purchases hit a yearly low in October, another sign that the residential production boom of the past two years is finally over.In October, Fannie purchased $100.3 billion in mortgages, a 31% decline from the total in September, its best month of the year. Another ominous sign for Fannie -- and the industry at large -- is its weak retained commitment number. At month's end Fannie had retained commitments of just $12.3 billion, also a low for the year. By comparison, Fannie's best retained commitment month came in July, with $77.7 billion, a number six times larger than October's. Fannie's mortgage portfolio fell by 5.7% during the month, the fourth time this year that its holdings have shrunk on a sequential basis. However, rising rates, which are snuffing out loan purchases, will result in less portfolio runoff in future months. (See the Nov. 17 issue of National Mortgage News for full details.)

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